Author Charles Caleb Colton once said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In other words, an individual thinks that you or what you’re doing is so valuable, they emulate it. How do we know they like what you’re doing? Hopefully, no one copies someone’s traits they dislike.
In the book The Artist Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, the author calls the imitators “believing mirrors.” They are the people who mirror you back to yourself as powerful, strong and in your most positive light. They reflect the things in us that they “believe” are worthwhile.
As we see these actions, it’s important for us to recognize that we all have something inside of us that is powerful. We all have strength in areas. This gift comes with an extreme amount of responsibility. You see, if we have this kind of influence with someone, and we know it consciously or subconsciously, then it’s considerably easier to influence them in ways that aren’t so great.
That’s why it’s important to know what kind of effect you have on those around you. How do they see you? How do they receive you? And if they “mirror” you, what does it look like?
On the flipside, who are you mirroring in your life? Are there mentors, leaders, friends or even family members who you see power and strength in and you imitate those qualities? If so, how?
Take a few quiet moments and write down the things you do because you see them in someone else. What are they? Have they made you stronger? Have you become a better person because of them? Can you continue to do so?
Now, let’s go back to those who mirror us. What are we giving them to be more powerful and strong? What are we doing to make sure they don’t only focus on being our mirror? What are we doing to be a mirror for them?
In leadership, or in life in general, it’s important to understand that someone is always watching us. Every day, the people on your team check your temperature to see how you’re doing. Are you happy? Are you angry? What is today going to be like with this person?
Each day, we have the opportunity to show them exactly how we’re feeling inside. Before we do just that, though, what if we take a self inventory and make sure we are doing OK. That way, we can give out the best of us we can. If they choose to mirror us, and someone will, they can be the best they can.
Questions: Who do you see in your life mirroring you? What are you doing to influence them?